Both the First Reading and the Gospel have their unexpected aspects. What is unexpected about the first reading, from Isaiah 40, is that it follows a hundred and fifty years after Chapter 39. Chapter 39 of Isaiah recounted how in 710 B.C. the king of the new country of Babylon came to introduce himself to King Hezekiah of Jerusalem. Isaiah prophesied that at some future time Babylon would cause Jerusalem great trouble.
Chapter 40 of Isaiah picked up the story a hundred and fifty years later, after Babylon had enslaved Jerusalem for seventy years, and were then conquered by Persia.
The unexpected thing about the Gospel was something that happened to me twelve years ago. Fifteen years before that when in was talking to our school kids in church, I asked the kids what John the Baptist ate when he was in the desert. One Sixth Grade girl correctly answered, "He ate locusts and wild honey."
That had me saying, "You are a wild honey."
Then, fifteen years after that, a young lady at the Car Wash was down on her knees, scrubbing my whitewalls. She looked up at me, and asked, "Don't you know who I am?
When I said I didn't recognize her she said, "Why, I am Wild Honey."